RFS opponents to hold ‘day of action’

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, May 5, 2014

Opponents of ethanol on and off Capitol Hill plan to hold a “day of action” this week to push both Congress and U.S. EPA to address their concerns with the federal renewable fuel standard.

Led by Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.) and Steve Womack (R-Ark.), the day will feature a meeting with EPA and a press event in the shadow of the Capitol. Seventeen organizations, from motorcyclists to environmentalists, will participate, according to a statement about the event.The groups said they plan to urge EPA to maintain its proposal to lower the ethanol and advanced biofuel blending mandates for this year, a proposal that has been lambasted by biofuel proponents.

They also plan to urge Congress to take up legislation introduced by Goodlatte last year that would reform the renewable fuel standard. The bill would eliminate the corn ethanol portion of the standard, compel EPA to base its annual cellulosic biofuel targets on the previous year’s actual production and cap the amount of ethanol allowed in gasoline at 10 percent (E&E Daily, April 11, 2013).

The groups and lawmakers say they are concerned about ethanol’s impact on food prices, car engines, the environment and the livestock industry.

“Our RFS standards I think have increased the cost of feedstock in every area,” Costa said at a congressional hearing last week. “It has had an impact, notwithstanding good intentions for renewable fuel standards.”